Romanian Work minister Marian Sarbu said in an interview for RFI that employees working in state departments should take the ten-day unpaid vacation willingly, without the authorities having to issue a normative act in this sense. He said unions should accept the situation, by simply taking into consideration that the state's difficult economic situation.

"Debates with unions representing state employees could follow, to decide criteria for possible redundancies, including discussions on the ten-day holiday. Maybe we could find solutions for some of our public and contracted clerk colleagues to request this unpaid vacation by the end of the year, maybe several days at a time or all at once, willingly, meaning without having to issue a normative act", the social-democratic minister explains.

Marian Sarbu claims union should simply accept the situation due to the bad economic condition of the country. He sustains that this unpaid holiday measure could save up jobs in the year to come and could avoid more painful measures.

The Work minister says that massive redundancies should be avoided because "at this moment, it is increasingly harder to find a work place, including in the private department. Jobs are our main focus and the main subject of discussion with the unions in the months to come. Until we do not slowly come out of this difficult economic situation, such measures are to be expected and I rely on the people's understanding, not only on the Government's enforcement.

Sarbu said that there are funds for unemployment benefits. He estimated that, by the end of the year, there will be around 600-620.000 unemployed in Romania.